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Re: OT - Programming Languages w/o English Syntax

Don Werve wrote:

Actually, English grammar is a nightmare to behold; there is no consistent method of handling verb conjugations, and the structure of a
sentence is integral to its meaning; you can't just randomly move words
around in an English sentence and expect things to work.  The way a
computer works at the low level (e.g., assembler and/or machine code) is
actually much more similar to Japanese, where you have an action and the
associate data stapled together in pairs, much like Japanese words are
(nominally) paired with particles.

The only reason that English-esque languages are prevalent is that, in
the early days, most of the programmers were native English speakers,
and as such, wrote tools and compilers that best fit their native
linguistic models.  If computerdom had started in Germany, then I'd
wager that we'd see more languages which used a German grammatic style.
really, the syntax of most programming languages is not very much like english -- english would have us putting the block before the for() or if() :-) ...

the lexicon, of course, is another story. but the (generally) one-to-one correspondence between a keyword and its sense/meaning avoids a lot of the obfuscation of english. one would think it should be possible, then to merely translate keywords from one natural language into another before compiling... perhaps?

I would suggest that english syntax is surprisingly regular (and not all that different from, say, Icelandic). if you believe chomsky :-)

specifier? modifier? head+ complement* modifier?

nest as desired.

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